Genesis sees record loan volumes as institutional interest in crypto booms

The prime crypto brokerage loaned $50 billion to institutional borrowers including hedge funds last quarter, while crypto derivatives trading on the platform also hit record levels.

Image: Pierre Borthiry

Crypto prime brokerage, Genesis, has released record performance figures for the fourth quarter of 2021, highlighting the seemingly unstoppable march of cryptocurrency into the mainstream.

The platform, which is owned by giant blockchain investor Digital Currency Group, recorded its strongest quarter to date, with approximately $102 billion in transactional volume, cementing a year of significant growth across all of its business lines. Loan originations reached $50 billion, up 40% over Q3 2021. For the full year, loan originations totalled $131 billion, nearly seven times higher than 2020.

Notably, trading volumes also surged. In 2021, Genesis recorded spot trading volumes nearly six times higher than the previous year, at $116.5 billion, while derivatives notional volume grew nine times to $53.8 billion.

In its market trends report released this month, the broker identified a number of key trends in the institutional crypto market: including the continued diversification of digital asset investments, the deepening sophistication of institutional investors entering the crypto market, new types of institutions participating in the market, increasing allocations from managers of diversified portfolios and the growing need for multi-service institutional prime brokerages.

“Last year was a pivotal year for the crypto industry, and one that demonstrated the merits of smart tactical trading around a core position,” said Michael Moro, CEO at Genesis. “As this asset class continues to mature, driven by increasing institutional participation and growing regulatory clarity, we believe that taking a comprehensive approach to portfolio management will only become more important.”